It has recently come to light that Republican incumbent Congressman Dennis Rehberg is quietly floating a plan to usurp states rights in favor of a federal power grab.
Rehberg is known for posting things on social media and passing it off as action, but his recent tweet in favor of “letting insurance companies sell across state lines means” means taking away all state powers over insurance and usurping it all for the federal government – a stark contrast to the rhetoric he spews in the light of day.
Rehberg’s his latest stupidity goes against the core freedom minded “states’ rights” values of his very base. Perhaps he thinks that by floating the idea on social media via his Twitter feed, no reporters will question him about the position more closely. Perhaps he thinks that his base won’t notice the obvious hypocrisy of putting the insurance industry solely under the jurisdiction of the federal government, while claiming to support states rights. He could be right.
Insurance is currently regulated by the states. For example, in Montana, we require insurance policies to cover autism, while in California, insurance companies are required to cover treatment for lead poisoning. Therefore a policy created in Mississippi that didn’t include autism couldn’t be sold in Montana, because each state decides what it wants at the local level. Of course, insurance companies are free to offer a policy that covers autism here, and one in Mississippi that does not.
Rehberg wants to allow a policy sold in Mississippi (or whatever state has the least restrictions) that contains none of the consumer protections Montanans want, to be sold everywhere (regardless of how lacking in coverage the plan is) — thus taking away Montana’s authority in this regard, and ultimately giving all the regulatory power for these policies to the federal government. Republicans have even floated a plan to allow Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, and American Samoa to count as U.S. “states” (read unregulated havens) for insurance companies to relocate to for the purpose of avoiding state regulation.